Guided Mindful Awareness Break

By Heather Stang, MA, C-IAYT

Posted: March 18, 2015

Many of us spend the majority of our day on autopilot. Not tuned in at all to how we are feeling or behaving. This not only leads to behaviors such as overeating, or snapping at people we care about, but it also prevents us from enjoying all life has to offer.

The blue of the sky, the smell of our coffee, the smile of a friend.

Today, you are invited to step out of “story” and participate in an “awareness break,” also known as a “mindfulness break.” Like in formal mindfulness meditation practice, you can use your six doors of the senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, sound and thoughts, as well as your breath, to bring you into the present moment.

You can take a break from worrying about what came before this moment, and what is to come, and simply pay attention to right here, right now.

The goal of this isn’t to drop out, but rather to wake up to your experience and drop in to reality.

You can practice this for just a few seconds, or for several minutes. Your eyes can remain open – that way you can engage your sense of sight – and not clue anyone in to the fact that you are practicing being aware!

After all, mindfulness isn’t designed to be something we leave on the meditation cushion. The whole point is to break the cycle of delusion, and widen our awareness and reduce suffering. As I like to say, we can learn to RESPOND rather than REACT to whatever arises.

Guided Mindful Awareness Break


Heather Stang, MA, C-IAYT

About the author

Heather Stang, M.A. is the author of Living with Grief and the guided journal, From Grief To Peace. She is the creator of the Mindfulness & Grief System that is featured in the Handbook of Grief Therapies (2023) and is the founder of Awaken, a mindfulness-based online grief support group. Heather also hosts the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, and offers mindfulness-based grief support online through her organization, the Mindfulness & Grief Institute. She holds a Masters degree in Thanatology (Death, Dying, and Bereavement) from Hood College in Maryland, and is a certified Yoga Therapist. She currently lives in Falling Waters, WV.

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